Here is Libertarian candidate Pranav Badhwar’s unedited response:
After speaking extensively to residents of Ward 6, I’ve based my platform on the positions that matter most to our citizens. My solutions include helping improve our public schools, spurring entrepreneurship and creating more jobs, reducing crime, easing transportation costs, and expanding affordable housing –all while reducing the DC Council’s spending.
You should vote for me because my …
Qualifications and Experience Extend Beyond Politics:
- I have over 20 years of professional experience in strategy, technology, and operations. I know how to listen to people, build consensus and make good investments. Anyone can spend other people’s money, but making sure investments payoff is hard work, and the skills required are not only political, but professional skills I have honed in effectively developing, coordinating, and operating large-scale services.
- I also have experience with what is being called “Smart Cities.” Experts say that the next 10 years will bring more technological change than the last 100. At least one D.C. Councilmember should understand how to harness technologies to improve services and reduce costs, and to make sure that people do not get left behind.
Solutions Are Win-Win:
- Traditional D.C. policies exclude our citizens from opportunity through failing schools, excessive job licensing requirements, and a counter-productive drug war. These policies treat symptoms, but maintain barriers to opportunity, causing persistent poverty, homelessness, and crime. DC then raises taxes to pay for failed programs, leading to higher prices for rent and basic goods and services, making city life unaffordable for many, including seniors on fixed incomes and the poor.
- One hundred percent of my solutions remove barriers at the root of the problem AND reduce spending. As the only candidate with two children in DC public traditional and charter schools, I know both systems well and my uniquely transformative schools solution is a win-win for teachers, students, and society. The only candidate with the courage to call for a total end to the drug war, which criminalizes non-violent behavior and severely restricts employment, I offer better alternatives to spending vast police and judicial resources only to destroy human potential. My affordable housing policies offer many choices, more realistically conforming to human need and emphasizing urban revival over government-sponsored gentrification. Please see www.Pranav4DC.com for details.
Accountability Rules Build Better Government:
The District of Columbia government paid a settlement earlier this year for abusing civil asset forfeiture rules, which allows police to seize people’s personal property on mere suspicion of wrong-doing, without even filing charges against them. But no public officials were liable, so city taxpayers ultimately paid the cost. The public pays the penalty for being abused by public officials. This is plain wrong.
Public officials habitually hide budget costs to avoid accountability and scrutiny from the public. Only through extra research did I learn that streetcar development will cost taxpayers $50 million dollars per mile, and that DC traditional public schools have the lowest performance and highest cost – of any state in the country –at over $29,000 per student.
To quote Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
D.C. Councilmembers are paid around $130,000 annually regardless of outcomes. Perhaps we should reduce Councilmember salaries by two-thirds and devise a pay-for-performance system for us to earn the rest only if we deliver on our promises.
To help reduce waste, fraud, and abuse and increase government effectiveness I believe we should:
- Scrap partisan elections — requiring politicians to run on their merits rather than on party labels. D.C. is one of a few major US cities where party labels appear on ballots.
- Require D.C. government to publish detailed cost-benefit analysis of major policies, including projected and actual outcomes. We must know if a policy fails or harms people so we can fix it. Knowing costs and outcomes may also uncover “sweetheart” back-room deals.
- Hold Councilmembers personally culpable for harm caused to people if they vote for illegal policies or oversee illegal operations (using rules similar to those for Board members of private organizations.)
My win-win solutions have universal appeal across the political and demographic spectrum, but I will need your vote not only to implement smarter solutions, but also to protect our citizens from unaccountable public officials.
Please remember to vote for Pranav Badhwar for D.C. Council, Ward 6, and help create a responsive government that offers real and lasting solutions to our most challenging problems.
Photo courtesy of Pranav Badhwar